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Space Exploration

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Space Exploration

People have been venturing out into the universe for many years now. In addition to satellites, both women and men astronauts have traveled into space to collect data about the universe. The first human being, the first animal, and the first spacecraft in orbit, were all achievements of the Soviet Union.

In 1958 a group known as The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded. The first probe to escape Earth's gravity was the Soviet LUNA 1, launched on Jan. 2, 1959. It passed the Moon and continued into interplanetary space. The U.S. probe Pioneer 4, launched two months later, followed the same path. Later Soviet probes either hit the Moon or passed it and took photographs of the hidden far side, relaying them back to Earth.

The first man to travel to space was Yuri Gagarin. History was made on April 12, 1961, when he successfully orbited the earth in the Votsok 1. His flight lasted one hour and 48 minutes and as he circled the earth, his speed was about 17,000 mph on the Votsok 1. Following this mission, Gagarin was killed in a test airplane crash .

Neil Armstrong was the first person to ever land on the moon. Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, he graduated from college in 1955 and joined the NASA team. In 1962, he became the first civilian to enter into an astronaut training program. In 1969, Armstrong headed the Apollo 11 mission, becoing the first human being to set foot on the moon. Other astronauts the accompanied Armstrong on this mission were Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins. In 1971, Armstrong became a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Valentina Vladimora Nikolayeva Tereshkova was the first woman to enter into space. She joined a Soviet training program in the year 1961 and two years later she successfully orbited the earth 48 times in the Votsok 6.

The Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. It was an aluminum sphere, 58 cm (23 in) in diameter, weighing 83 kg (184 lb). Its orbited around the earth lasted 96.2 minutes. At the end of 57 days the satellite returned to earth's atmosphere and was destroyed by aerodynamic frictional heat.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were both spacecrafts that were

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